Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter and the Kingdom...

This past week we talked about "Hosanna" and "Crucify Him," both chanted by the crowd in Jerusalem in reaction to Jesus. Hosanna, which means "save" or "save us" had to be the cry for the Kingdom by those Jews alive in Jesus' day. Under some sort of Empirical control since 586BC, the Israelites struggled under the weight of retaining a national identity without being truly free to practice that identity. Needless to say, they had ideas of what this Messiah would be. There were several camps, some hoping for a general, others a political genius, and still others hoping for one that would lead them into a utopian existence in the desert. When Jesus entered Jerusalem the crowd was interested in a specific type of savior. Though they were more than likely not all committed hard and fast to a specific point of view, everyone wanted to be saved. The problem is that they wanted to be saved the way they wanted to be saved. They were unassumingly trying to hijack the Kingdom when it wasn't theirs to take. It turned out that Jesus' plan was far bigger than a national agenda. His Kingdom stretched beyond a public interest group or political party. His Kingdom was for everyone and it looked liked a suffering servant rather than a conquering general.

So...they crucified him.

I think we can learn a lot from this story. That we don't get to make the rules for Kingdom. We don't get to ask God to save us and then tell him how to do it. He knows what we need to be saved from the most and how that needs to transpire. It might look more like a cross and less like whatever we're hoping it to be. So we've got to get under Christ's authority and let him define the Kingdom for us. Only then can we effectively cry Hosanna because then, as Stanley Grenz says, we have found the cry for the Kingdom.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

Live Love.